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Moore 4, Us 3, Hillis 3, Antonini 3, Nate Dyson 2, Mr. Sanchez 2, Borden 2, The City 1, Ncd 1, The Castro Country 1, Palmer 1, Gypsum Board 1, The Castro Street Ncd 1, Nate 1, Cory Powell 1, Fong 1, Sanchez 1, Gary Mccoy 1, Sugaya 1, Wu 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    February 7, 2013
    6:00 - 6:30pm PST  

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the last component includes the rear roof deck as the castro country club's proposed outdoor activity area. pursuant to planning code section 145.2. after the first hearing the ground floor proposed restaurant, that is the subject drew more concerns from the commission and the commission had concerns about the ambient noise going through the sliding doors on the rear wall of the restaurant through the rear and the commission requested that the project sponsor develop alternate plans for the restaurant. the project sponsor submitted two alternative designs for the
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restaurant. basically both of the designs eliminate the rear light rail. one would set the rear wall of the restaurant back 11' without light rail and the second alternative would be to set the rear wall back 5', without light rail. the rest of the design mostly are the same as the original. for instance on the roof deck, it is divided into two areas. one area is for the costa country club's outdoor activity and the second is reserved for the use of open space for the current residential unit on the 3rd floor. the difference would be the current proposal, the area would be separated by an hvac
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installation instead of the previous fixed planters. the project requires the planning commission a restaurant on the ground floor pursuant to planning code section 715.44. the second action is for the legalization of a change of occupancy of a residential use to a non-residential use to the castro country club. pursuant to -- i'm sorry -- the country club with the second floor outdoor activity area. and that basically the department would still maintain the original recommendation for approval. this is for a recommendation for approval for the proposed
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restaurant on the ground floor. it is not a formula retail use, but rather an independent, locally-owned business. it is designed to serve residents from the neighborhood, and patrons of other businesses on castro or 18th street and it's not a destination restaurant. no. 3, it contributes to the economic vitality of the neighborhood by developing an underutilized garage floor into an active commercial storefront, while not removing any existing neighborhood serving uses no. 4 it is well-served by public transit and it should have a negligible impact on the current traffic pattern on the surrounding streets. and no. 5, it will operate between 8-10 job openings for city residents.
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the recommendation for approval of the legalization of the costa country club on the 2nd floor activityity area. no. 1, it's a clean and safe place for lgbt people in recovery from drugs and alcohol. and has established a history of historical recognition for almost 30 years at the project site, among the community. second, although the legalization of the country club is a result of the converging of a residential unit, but the previous residential unit contains only two bedrooms and was not really a family-sized unit and it's not presently part of the city's housing stock. no. 3, the outdoor activity area on the 2nd floor as shown in the plans have been designed to minimize noise and privacy impacts to adjacent residential units.
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and the last, it is is well-served by public transit and should have a negligible impact upon the current traffic pattern or the surrounding streets. for both of the alternate designs, the project sponsor has met with the two neighbors at the original hearing who had concerns about restaurant's noise and smell to the project sponsor. this concludes staff's presentation. i will be happy to answer your questions. thank you. >> thank you. project sponsor. >> commissioners, my name is ahmad and i'm the principal of the architects and i'm the project architect for both the owner of the building and the
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castro country club. first of all, thanks to tom wang, who did just such a thorough job again. you charged us with bringing back a redesign of the space and we did that and we took away what i think was the most objectionable part of the project which was the rear court. and i am going to have my associate nate dyson talk to you about his interaction with the neighbors. one correction i would like to make in the conditions of approval. it incorrectly has 88:00 p.m. as sunday's closing and would like to change that to 11:00 like the other weeknights. so my om words besides that this is a nobel effort partnership between them.
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the only reason the restaurant is in front of you is because of the sale of beer and wine and with the mitigation measures we have taken we think we have dealt with any neighbor concerns and have a good project for the neighborhood and ask you to approve it. i am available for questions and i will turn you over to nate, who will answer questions and talk about the neighborhood's interactions. thank you. >> hi. nate dyson and i'm also an ark tect and he w ark tect and i also work with ahmad and the country business owner and the country club. immediately after our last meeting i scheduled a meeting with the neighbors at the country club.
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i want to note within the ncd, the castro street ncd we are allowed to excavate to the property line for commercial use on the ground floor. so alternates a and b are largely similar. i could put them on the screen, if that helps to have them in front of you. both alternates -- the mechanical equipment is located after the trees. 6' back from the property line. and i think you will see the intent of that. the kitchen exhaust is not locate there had. the kitchen exhaust is collected at the 4th floor towards the middle of our
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building, which keeps it as remote from neighboring properties as feasibility. so the combination of the landscape and mechanical area located at the rear yard create a total of 11' separating the castro country club's outdoor use from the rear neighbor. we have showdown shown in the drawings with discussion with the neighbors that we would specify quiet-rated or water-cooled compressors for the hvac unit. this would be to supply cooling for the restaurant, now that we have gotten rid of the light r well, we won't have the flow of natural ventilation. so we have 6' of trees in both designs. we have a 5' mechanical area. most of that area is to provide the required access around the equipment. 30" on either side of a unit to deal with it. in discussing with the
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neighbors and i think i tried to speak with mr. sanchez before about this. there is currently a fence around the rear of the property and we would like to replace that fence. it provides privacy to the neighbors. so they would really like to see that privacy fence replaced. it would be at zoning's discretion and i think it would make them happy. in addition, to the fence we have shown on the drawings, to pull the plaster off the wall at the neighboring property. and insulate and add gypsum board, two layers, to help us. which i know has been an issue to-date. thanks.
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>> may i? >> i think your time is up. >> i this had one thing that i didn't get in there. the hours of operation of the outside patio for the costa country club, which was capped at 9:00 p.m., my clients the castro country club respectfully request that they be allowed to you use the outdoor space until they are open every night, thank you. >> calling public comment. [ reading speakers' names ] >> hello my name is eden palmer and i live at the building adjacent to the castro country club. 4058 cao street. i have two little boys 4 and 7
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and their window is directly onto the property that we're talking about. my concern is turning the property into restaurant use and with all the nuisance that goes along with, that the machine noise from the restaurants, loud music, loud voices, public urination, et cetera. we already have a very large density of restaurants and bars in the area. i would like to understand what is to stop the rest of the building from falling into restaurant use, if this changes? if ever the castro country club should leave, there is a space there with the backyard patio space, that if that ever turned into a restaurant the quality of my neighbors and my building would be compromised such that we would have to move and sell your properties. we made a choice to live in an urban areas with all the benefits and problems that go with that. my boys go to sleep every night with the hum of the restaurant machines and disco beat from the bars and restaurants and
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we're fine with the existing level of if any place, but we don't want anymore. the existing restaurant is already encroaching on existing space and they are in violation and out of permit. as someone allude to ir, the entertainment commissioner, we have to spend many hours of our time asking people to comply. the restaurant would be for us, a nuisance that we don't want to have to deal with yet another one. my question is why can't it be either remain a residential space or can it be a commercial space other than a restaurant? i understand that people are trying to make money and go into business, and those are my comments. thank you. >> hello commissioners. thank you for your time tonight and for staying so late. i wish the restaurant was open,
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so i could go eat right now. my name is terry besswick and i spoke to you a couple of weeks ago. i won't give you the history of the castro country club and i think we heard unanimous support from the commission and the witnesses. i live upstairs from the castro country club for five and a half years and my bedroom is actually bordering the back patio that has been talked about a little bit. i think there was a lot of confusion at the last meeting regarding the back patio. we discussed no ambientneys, noise from the activity itself and no smell from the restaurant as well. we support our landlord. our landlord is giving us a
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10-year lease and we're a non-profit organization that has been there for 30 years. and we're getting a reasonable rent. i think it's important that the landlord after investmenting into the building and putting a lot of money into the building to retrofit it making it safer and putting in sprinklers and so on, he should be able to make back many return on investment. this proposed storefront is virtually the only ground floor space on that block that does not have a commercial use. so i think it's perfectly reasonable for that use to be incorporated into the building. i do want to make two quick points. one, about the hours of operation on the back patio. as i said, we have been there for 30 years and we're respectful of our neighbors and rarely have any kind of
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amplified noise and would like access and the conditions of the application include access to the back patio. we're losing the front patio and we need to have a place for our people to be able to go, where there is no alcohol being consumed. so the actual space of the castro country club is extremely small. we need to have a place to go out and get some air. the other thing is the fencing bordering the neighbors and the application includes a small fence right now. and i don't understand why that needs to happen. right now, there is a 6' fence there. and what is being proposed is a very short, low railing and that is not appropriate both for privacy and security concerns. so i think it should be approved with the condition of allowing a 6' fence minimum. thank you. >> good afternoon, my name is cory powell and thank you
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president and commissioners for hearing me. i volunteer at the ccc and i participate in the steering committee there as well. the ccc offered me a safe place to go when i was newly sober and needed support and could not find any other place readily available. as visible as the castro country club was to continue my journey in sobriety. and t provided me a beginning for my recovery journey and in my experience it's a relative hub for the gay community for recovery. i am among hundreds who have used the facilities to live outside of addiction. the facilities include wi-fi that i have seen used to find
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employment and volunteerism opportunities. it provides me something outside of my day-to-day routine. and seek recovery support as well, which includes meeting with my sponsor and using the outside activity area for such activities, i suppose. and as along as they are open, people come seeking a solution to their addiction. when i volunteer, i usually volunteer from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and there are people coming in all the way up until 11:00 p.m. looking for pamphlets and looking for answers to the questions that they are looking for. i would just like to say because of the castro country club i'm no longer on the street contributing to the drug trade or illegal activity in the city. i'm no longer wasting city resources because of my drunkenness and disorderly conduct in public. the build out could only make the ccc a more attractive and
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better place to seek recovery. thank you. >> thank you. good evening commissioners, my name is mike [skhao-eur/] and chairman of the advisory club. i would like the commissioners to notice in the plan as the country club is going to be redone, we're actually losing space in the renovation and we have talked about this. we're still in support of the plans as they are submitted about the conditional use and alteration of the hours, but we're still very much in support of the proposal by the architects. thank you. >> hi my name is gary mccoy. i want to say as somebody going to the castro country club for quite a while now, it's been very important in my recovery to go back and meet with my sponsor and enjoy solitude away from the hustle and bustle of the street and the front. now that we don't have that as
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an option, thank goodness we have somebody that bought the building. so i'm fine with that, but now that we don't have the front patio as an option, it's very important that we have the back patio. and as other people have said, we have been pretty quiet back there. it's more of a place to concentrate and do step work and things like that and meet with our sponsors. so i'm just asking that you support the plans for the restaurant downstairs and also support us at least having the patio for the same business hours that it operates. >> thank you. any additional public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner moore. >> just picking up where we left off last time, and it has helped me with a proper report. i think the commission very much supported the social component of what this project is proposing.
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i think the commission also was very empathetic of the concerns of the neighborhood. now the question is how do we deal with that? let me acknowledge the architect did a great job to visualize what those questions were, which we couldn't answer last time when we had drawings in front of them. which described what could be, but we didn't quite know how that would resolve itself. i'm actually quite impressed by having two alternatives and the ability to compare it to what we looked at last time. quickly coming to the point, i would say that alternative a is for me more in keeping with the compromise which spatially leaves it open there is an 11' setback, by which landscaping
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an open area, that will be a relief of noise transfer relative to buildings across the area. with the issue of the fence, i would look for the zoning administrator's sanchez's guidance and the point of compromise. i am supportive of it, but we need to guides it that it best addresses the height and zoning requirements, which normally exist for fences. which i think you can't make it too tall. it has to be a certain height and it can't be too low that people fall over it, either way. including a fence material that is consistent with fences rather than glass or transparent element. the thing i have a little bit of a problem with is that using the outdoor space after 10:00 is an issue for me.
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living in a building where neighbors use an outdoor spaces a communal space, when things become quiet at night and even not loud conversation becomes ten time as loud when you leave your window open and trying to sleep. the noise is more amplified than during an afternoon when people are bustling around and creating their own noise. so i'm concerned that giving hours to 11:00, 12:00 is not really in the spirit of the adjoining neighborhoods, but that would be my only concern. everything else i believe is addressed well and i will restate that alternative a would be my preferred alternative based on what we talked about last time. >> commissioner antonini. >> i would say that alternative a is the better
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alternative. i have sympathy for the property owner who spoke who lives in the area. and there is a pretty intense restaurant use. however, i think alternative a makes the size of the seating area of the restaurant a little bit smaller and leaves a bigger space between the back of the restaurant. so there is actually a little bit more of a buffer. so i would think that would be the better one. as far as the deck is concerned, which would be servicing the castro country club, i think it's a nice outdoor space to have, but i kind of agree with commissioner moore. i think 10:00 is late enough to be out on the deck. even though, the castro country club participants would not be drinking, and they still could be making noise and conversation and talking. especially on weeknights, if you are trying to get to sleep at night, it's probably going to be more of an impact than would be the activities inside
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the restaurant, which will be enclosed, i understand. so those would be a little more -- the noise would be more mitigated. so i would favor option a and having the deck close at least on weeknights at 10:00. >> commissioner borden? >> i don't want to belabor the point. i think putting an hour limit on the deck is not very enforceable. so i mean, i think it creates a nuisance for the castro country club to do that. i don't think it's their intent to be partying on the deck. that is the only thing i would say. i respect that i don't want them disrupting the neighbors, but it's hard to keep track of. >> public comment is already closed. commissioner hillis? >> just two questions. one second floor, what could that be used for with the
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country club? >> the variety of uses in the castro street neighborhood district would be allowed on the second level, retail sales, financial service with a conditional use and medical service. >> so restaurant-type use? >> a restaurant would not be allowed on the second level in the castro neighborhood commercial district, no. >> do you want to respond? do you use this space outside now at 10:00 at night? would it be a hardship? >> currently our hours are until 11:00 monday through thursday, until midnight friday and saturdays and 10:00 on sundays, but any noise that we have out back is negligible compared to the noise of the back patio of the mixed bar, which is three doors down, which is like being at a dance party. >> do you use the back patio now at all hours that you are open? >> very minimally.
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>> so i'm all right with that. >> thank you. >> commissioner moore. >> mr. sanchez, how many people are allowed to gather on the deck based on structural? >> i do not have the expertise to answer that. it's a building code requirement and perhaps the architect could answer what the load is? >> people quietly conversing is one thing, but with 20 people hollering, that is a different thing. i don't know the country club well enough, but i know as i said earlier, at night noise really amplifis. >> commissioner antonini. >> the project sponsor, i want to ask you something. i realizing that the purpose of the restaurant is to help make the castro country club economically feasible. >> that is correct. >> and i would assume that either option a or b will work
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economically for you? >> i think if you were to ask my client, who regrettably couldn't be here tonight, he would ask for option b because it gives him the extra simple linear feet. it doesn't really make any difference, i think, for you, because i don't think there is any outdoor perception of difference, whether that cavity is 6' bigger or not, but we'll leave it at your direction is. >> okay. thank you. >> commissioner hillis. >> i move to approve option a. >> second >> was it 11:00 on week days?
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>> 11:00. >> did someone second that motion? >> i did. >> thank you. on the motion to approve option allowing the deck obused during country club hours, commissioner antonini aye. >> commissioner borden? >> aye. >> commissioner hillis? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? >> aye. >> commissioner sugaya? >> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> commissioner president fong? >> aye. >> so moved commissioners. zoning administrator, what say you? >> grant the requested variance, close the public hearing at this point i would actually take the item under advisement and come to resolution on the deck issue. sorry i didn't respond to the email of last week, but have you 10' above existing grade.